Ballet Americana prepares to stage ‘Graduation Ball’

Photo courtesy of Portraits by Alex

Abby Phillips of Taylor will appear as a guest performer May 14 and 15 in the Ballet Americana pro-duction of “Graduation Ball” at the Allen Park Center for the Arts Auditorium. Phillips, a former member of Ballet Americana, now dances professionally with the Dayton Ballet.

By Evelyn Cairns
“Graduation Ball,” a ballet set in a 19th century Vienna girls’ school, will be staged by Ballet Americana at 4 and 7 p.m. May 14 and 15 at the Allen Park Center for the Arts Auditorium, 19001 Champaign.

Choreographed to music by Johann Strauss II, the ballet revolves around the school’s graduation ball, which is attended by the cadets from a neighboring military academy.

The light-hearted production focuses on youthful romances and a comical flirtation between the cadet’s old general and the girls’ matronly headmistress.

Abby Phillips of Taylor, a former member of Ballet Americana now dancing professionally with the Dayton Ballet, will be a guest performer.

Cast members portraying Graduating Seniors in the ballet will be Nicole Brown, Sarah Greer, Devin Kilmer, Brittney Marek, Jennifer Montie, DaStanza Murphy, Alie Obermayer and Jeanette Palmer.

Appearing as Junior Girls will be Stephanie Brooks, Amy Jenkins, Kelsey Kochan, Mary Mitroka, Stacey Schepens, Kaitlynn Schuster, Alyssa Tanner and Phillips.

Performing as Cadets will be David Barnett, Mac Lorenz, Pete Karoyli, Matthew Niemiec, Brent Petrick and Bobby Redic.

Audrie Nieman will dance the role of Headmistress, and Dean Lande, Headmaster.

Tickets, $8, can be reserved by calling (734) 374-3904 from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Joy Squire is Ballet Americana director, and Patricia Squire Lorenz and Leif Lorenz are artistic directors.

Chamber party slated at Yack
More than 25 restaurants will offer tastes of their specialties May 19 at the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber’s annual blacktie preview party for the chamber’s annual Business and Lifestyles Exposition.

The party will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Benjamin F. Yack Arena, 3131 Third, Wyandotte.

Among the participating restaurants are The Rhapsody, TV’s Grand Event, TV’s Deli and Diner, Cake in a Cup, Olga’s Kitchen and Savannah’s.

Tickets, $75 ($65 for non-members), are available by calling (734) 284-6000.

Exposition hours on Friday will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Children’s tea set at museum
The Detroit Historical Society Guild will host an etiquette tea for boys and girls 6 to 14 years old and accompanying adults from noon to 3 p m. May 15 at the Detroit Historical Museum.

Beverages and desserts will be followed by an interactive fun etiquette lesson. Guests will receive etiquette booklets and vie for door prize.

The cost of $15 includes admission to the museum. Parking will be available for $4. For reservations (necessary) and additional information, call (586) 777-5898.

The museum is located at 5401 Woodward, at Kirby, in the Cultural Center.

New director to be honoree
Tammy Trudelle of Wyandotte, the new executive director of the Downriver Council for the Arts, will be the honoree at a reception slated for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 10 at the Wyandotte Arts Center, 81 Chestnut.

“The reception will give the public and members of Downriver organizations an opportunity to meet Tammy and learn about the many new programs she is introducing,” reception chairman Karen Ranka said.

Trudelle previously was program chairman of the Plymouth Community Arts Council, group services coordinator for The Henry Ford, and youth program director of the Downriver YMCA.

There is no charge for the reception. Beverages and desserts will be served.

Save the date . . .
May 17-22 — Performances of “Chicago,” starring John O’Hurley, dubbed “One of the Sexiest Men Alive” by People magazine; at the Fisher Theatre; tickets, ranging from $29 to $75, including parking, are available at all TicketMaster locations or; for additional information, call (313) 872-1000.